Cutting sugar rapidly improves heart health markers

Sugar – not just empty calories

Can a simple dietary change – just eating less sugar – make children’s risk of heart disease take a quick nose dive? Possibly.

In a new study (by Prof. Robert Lustig among others) researchers made obese children have less sugar, without changing calorie intake or macronutrients. They only substituted starch for sugar.

What happened? A fat associated with heart disease, triglycerides, decreased by 33% and there were dramatic reductions of small, dense LDL cholesterol (another risk factor for heart disease). All in ten days:

This supports the idea that sugar is uniquely problematic when it comes to heart disease risk. But the study did not have a control group, so the findings have be taken with a grain of salt (this is not an RCT).

Still, getting these big reductions in heart disease risk factors just by eating less sugar and more of something else, without changing body weight, and in just 10 days… it’s hard to ignore.


New Study: Cutting Sugar and NOT Calories Improves Kids’ Health in Just 10 Days!

Fat vs. Sugar – Who’s the Villain in Heart Disease?

“Now Sugar Is the Bad Guy”

Videos with Prof. Robert Lustig

  • Is sugar toxic?
  • The cause of obesity
  • Diet Doctor podcast #14 with Dr. Robert Lustig


  1. gbl
    But but... I slept well for 6 hours after eating a cup of cherries 3 hours before bed. First time since low-carbing to sleep through, and sleep well. Was it the sugar?
  2. Alan
    Are you actually eating a low carb, high fat diet GBL? I'm just curious. I'm all up for debate and encourage it. I agree with one of your previous comments about more science and less church, but this is a science-based site with some encouragement (which makes it appear a little church-like perhaps). But the comments so far on the articles from yourself seem more of the trolling ilk and resemble those found on plant based vegan YouTube videos.

    For the record, my own "health markers" after numerous blood tests over the last few years of eating LCHF have all improved substantially. I also sleep better, have more energy, don't feel lethargic, am never ill etc. Is it because of a lack of sugar? Is it because of the weight loss? By cutting out the sugar and starchy carbs, so many things have improved in my health. Therefore I can at least say that by cutting out the sugar, indirectly at least, my sleep has improved.

  3. gbl
    How to recognize a cult: no questions may be asked, no doubting, and no contrary evidence. This is NOT a science-based site. Merely discussing nutrition does not make it science. In many cases, even publishing in some unheard of journal does not make it science.

    This is a website privately owned by some physicians who are testing out their theories. Congratulations, you're a test subject aka lab rat.

    But truly, congratulations on your outcomes so far. Other "science-based" sites "suggest" it's the weight loss and could be achieved by other diets, such as a traditional Japanese, South Korean or Chinese rice based diet.

    I'm neither trolling, Vegan nor a YouTube afficianado. I'm just pointing out some of the absurdities here. Science demands facts. So do I. What a world we have become if that is called "trolling".

    "There's a crack, there's a crack in every thing. It's how the light gets in. It's how the light gets in."
    Leonard Cohen

  4. Alan
    Hey it's all good. I was merely asking as you seemed a bit angry. I think it's great to ask questions and debate (it's something I've actually requested myself previously). I hope I didn't offend with my previous comment, it wasn't meant to, just calling it as it appeared. I welcome the questions personally think they should be asked.

    It is a privately owned site which encourages a certain type of lifestyle. I appreciate things can appear a little cult like when there is a bias towards one way of thinking, but that way of thinking has come about in large part due to huge amounts of anecdotal evidence from their various practices in addition to a number of studies. For the most part, the interviews are discussing the observations of medical practitioners.

    I'm sure I have been a lab rat (I started this for myself after seeing great results in a friend and thought I'd give it a try) but from what has been mentioned, there are no studies that suggest that it's not healthy; just old papers that were biased and have since been shown to be very poor. In many respects, everyone has been a lab rat with the classic move more, eat less fat approach which was adopted a few decades ago. The main difference is that the latter approach that has been advised has coincided with poor health, weight and metabolic issues.

    Whilst some people don't always see all the results that they want with LCHF, for the most part, most comments are positive on the effects that it has had on them (me included). I'm sorry if that appears cult like, but I have measured (as best as I can) how my own body has changed as has my health over this time and it doesn't make me a "believer" as such in a cult, it just shows for me personally that it works. I'm 36 now and both fitter and healthier than when I was 18 and I was a lean sports machine back then!

  5. gbl
    As I started out saying MOL, until there are actual studies saying what has been hypothesized has been found, I will doubt. So should we all. It's great to lose weight. Now show us how this can be a lifestyle. Dr. Wortman was not able to do this with his "test participants", although he has for himself as long as he remained in induction. Big Fat Diet test participants have all fallen back. The diet (like all others?) is untenable except for a very few, likely young, male, well-to-do (this is not a cheap way of eating) with naturally high metabolism (and there's a word we don't hear here. Why?) but then, men earn more money than women) and primarily youthful participants. Also, what are all those negatives which were deliberately left out of study parameters? If you die of kidney disease because of the diet, is that somehow a price you're willing to pay because your markers for cardio disease went down because of the diet?

    And "scientists" who reword study results to make it appear favourable? Well... .

    Reply: #8
  6. gbl
    Apologies, that last paragraph was a bit garbled. I edited, it didn't take.
  7. Alan
    I agree about more studies being needed etc. I get the impression that this is on the increase however now that the stigma of having fat in your food is starting to disappear. I think this was often a block to getting any independent funding (i.e. non-industry sponsored trials).

    As I say, I can only truly speak of my own experience and relay that of others that I know personally. I changed my eating habits to LCHF as a way of losing weight but it quickly became a way to be healthy. I've had some thorough blood tests done over the last few years and all kidney and liver function numbers are perfectly in the middle of any ranges etc. Cholesterol has all improved (higher HDL, lower LDL in general, huge drop in triglycerides). I also know for me at least, the previous approach of moving more and eating less (especially fat) never worked properly for me, made me quite miserable and I was still quite unhealthy. So anecdotally at least, this personal study of mine is so far showing positive results for LCHF. If I drop down dead of a kidney issue later on, will it be down to this or would it already have happened anyway? I have no idea. However I now get to enjoy all the foods that I always loved eating when I was younger and my quality of life has improved as has my confidence so I'm happy to keep monitoring what I am doing at the moment and stick with it unless I see it is doing me harm.

    In terms of costs, I'm not sure that it's really any more expensive as you don't need as much food. I've naturally fallen into a pattern of eating once a day. I don't starve myself and I eat when I'm hungry. That one meal per day often has plenty of frozen veg (which is cheap and lasts ages), oily fish or fatty meat (again, not crazy expensive once a day and you don't need as much if it's good quality), spices etc. It's all both tasty and doesn't break the bank whilst being very nutritious and satiating.

    Anyway, I feel rude to turn this into a private chat on a public page (especially on two pages!). I understand being sceptical. I think it's important to be as I am too of many things that I read. If you've found what works for you, that's great. Share away and let others debate and decide etc.

  8. Apicius
    Oh glad I had time today to come across gbl's ranting. I'm so delighted that this website is a magnet for such intellectual exchange. And ah yes. Thank you, gbl, for letting us know that you ate a whole bowl of cherries and slept soundly. And so precisely letting us know that it was 1 cup, and 3 hours before bedtime which then yields 6 hours of sleep...I shall record this insight and follow your genius advice. Who cares about all that fancy shmanzy controlled scientific studies, dividing the "treatment" group from "control" group candidates, and why bother meticulously collecting data and then have your results peer reviewed. Gbl is so brilliant....forget all of that bureaucratic process...he did his earth shattering, game changing experiment (1 cup cherries, 3 hours before bed, 6 hours of sleep) and there you go, mission accomplished. What a freakin genius. Albert Einstein, stand aside, for we now have a new hero to hail!
  9. gbl
    Alan: Perhaps this was posted here somewhere? A good discussion going on.

  10. Alan
    Hi GBL, interesting page and very polarised views in the discussion underneath it. It might be worth posting on the other news article as it is about the same paper.

  11. gbl
    Naw. :) I imagine ^^ they've got it.

    I can see an induction level low-carb diet being almost essential for people with intractible TD2, in a clincial supervised setting, similar to a rehab with all the rounding out bits, pychologist, addiction, fitness work for several months in-house, and then day-clinic for some time, monitoring, and possibly moving out of induction for some. People don't just start eating cinnamon buns by the dozen after losing a couple hundred pounds, but it creeps up I imagine. They need more.

    Dr. Wortman is virtually the only long term success story I know of (maybe, Jean here) but he has not been able to move out of induction. Of course he has special incentive to stay with it that his patients didn't have. He would lose all credibility, his patients, and his funding for the new clinic he's setting up. IOW, he'd lose his career.

    There are so many reasons why so few will succeed on this diet: it's not right for women, it's for those with a moderately high income, and that means doubley set up for men. It's a diet for a Male metabolism amd a male's privilege in having others to help him with food prep, or buy that.

    This is not a diet for a single hourly waged working woman, with or without a couple kids and who has to take the bus or lives in a food poverty zone (no supemarket or grocers) and she does not have a Male's metabolism. Like Dr. Wortman's subjects who cannot find Mesclum et al where they live, they are doomed to fail through no fault of their own.

  12. gbl
    This article deals with Metabolism crashing after food restriction. I still want to know: how does this apply to low-carb as promulgated here, or does it? And then I want to know how is Dr. Andreas preparing his test subjects for this. It WILL happen, say the researchers quoted in this artlcle.

  13. Alan
    I have been eating this way for 4 years now and aside from a few days where I just fancy something a bit "junky", I maintain my weight no problem. I am male, but I'm not sure that it doesn't suit women. There are plenty of success stories on this site for women as well as men.

    I'm not rich and I think my meals don't cost more than a few pounds (UK £) per day. If you are eating everything grass fed and the very best quality of meats etc, then sure it can cost quite a bit, but I imagine that most people don't do that. I eat a lot of fish and it's quite cheap. On top of that, I only eat once a day as that suits me fine. When I see people in offices with breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and then no doubt dinner in the evening - I imagine they spend far more on food than I do.

    Keeping off the weight isn't an issue (from what I'm aware) unless this is looked at as purely a diet to lose weight and then go back to what you were doing. Eating this way is meant to be a lifestyle change and way of maintaining health long term. If you go back to eating how you used to, it would make sense to me at least that you would therefore go back to your old weight / health. As I say, I've not done that and I've maintained my weight and health without issue. I find it easy as I really enjoy the food that I eat. Time will tell if I remain healthy, but all I can do is try which is why I am more than happy to stick with what I have been doing. I would be interested to test my metabolism, but I would have no starting reference numbers for myself so would only comparing against expected norms.

    May I ask what sort of food you eat and if your health is good? No pressure, I'm just curious as I presume it's not LCHF (which is totally fine of course). Do you eat quite a few times a day? Would you say that your overall food bill is quite low? Is it mostly low-fat etc?

  14. gbl
    I can't imagine anyone "going back to their old way of eating." But staying in induction for the rest of your life isn't very sensible or valid either is it? You say eating this way for four years. And at what point there did it become maintenance. Not four years short one month, I'm thinking.

    Have a look at the NYTimes link. None of those people "went back to their old way of eating". I can't remember if any had TD2.

    There's something else: Wortman has freely admitted he ate a lot of flour, baking, sweets all his life. IOW he destroyed the ability of his pancreas to function. Not to pick on him, but he has been candid. He didn't inherit TD2, no matter what his ancestry was.

  15. gbl
    I can't imagine anyone "going back to their old way of eating." But staying in induction for the rest of your life isn't very sensible or valid either is it? You say eating this way for four years. And at what point there did it become maintenance. Not four years short one month, I'm thinking.

    Have a look at the NYTimes link. None of those people "went back to their old way of eating". I can't remember if any had TD2.

    There's something else: Wortman has freely admitted he ate a lot of flour, baking, sweets. IOW he destroyed his pancreases ability to function. Not to pick on him, but he has been candid. He didn't inherit TD2, no matter what his ancestry was.

    And P.S. I don't think you're eating properly. You're not a success story yet. Congratulations on getting your #s down, however.

  16. Alan
    Thanks, I'm very pleased with all the numbers and results :-) I do think I'm eating properly though. That's the whole point of course. I've never looked at there being a line between it being maintenance or not. I see it simply as a healthy way to eat. I lost most of the weight about 2-3 years ago and then tweaked as I learnt more. But the tweaking was additional vegetables and slowly but naturally moving to 2 and then 1 meal a day. That was a while ago though now. My body is quite settled I think so I guess I'm technically in the maintenance stage that you refer to, but I've not really changed anything. I still only eat about 20g of carbs per day, all from vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussels and a few carrots along with mushrooms etc.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts